Marine News from the Great Lakes

First & First SE

Small yachts, big fun

Published: Friday, October 23, 2020

The First range has big ambitions this autumn, with the development of a simpler, more manageable version of the First 14, 24 and 27. Aluminium masts, North Dacron sails, and jib furling systems are just a few of the changes that will make these lightning-fast planing hulls more accessible to a larger public. Die-hard racers will still be able to select the First SE (Seascape Edition) version of the boats, which will remain unchanged from previous generations, while sailing clubs and cruising folk will likely go for the new First versions. Adapting to the different needs and expectations of a wide variety of users has always been a staple of the BENETEAU brand!

The signature features of the First range have not changed in the slightest since its launch in 1977. These yachts are intuitive and detail-oriented, focused on performance and fun, and the Sam Manuard-designed seventh generation of First is a new chapter in this long and illustrious story.


To meet the demand of sailing enthusiasts who are not necessarily racing experts, BENETEAU is launching a new version of the First 14, 24 and 27. The First 18 will remain unchanged – a distillation of power, an energetic boat for people who love thrilling sensations, and the benchmark of a rapidly growing one-design series. The more cruising-friendly Firsts will benefit from the same exhilarating hulls as their SE counterparts while offering simpler systems, aluminium masts, more comfortable interiors and cockpits, and an options offer geared towards daysailing and coastal cruising.


A highly stable planing hull for two programmes! BENETEAU has always been committed to bringing high performance to everyone’s reach, such as the “First Class” yachts on which many an amateur racer has learned their proverbial ropes, and the “First” yachts designed for fast cruising. To meet the needs of an ever-expanding range of clubs and cruising sailors, BENETEAU turned their attention to a more accessible version of their successful First range, with aluminium masts, a smaller sail area and simpler systems, which will bring the joys of sub-30’ high performance planing hulls to a much larger variety of owners.

First 14: A Double-handed Dinghy for Everyone!

With its aluminium mast, boom and flying jib-boom, a slightly smaller square-top mainsail from North Sails and a self-tacking jib with a furling system, this 14-foot dinghy – available in a powered-up SE version - is the ideal boat for beach hopping or the simple unrestrained pleasure of a few hours on the water.

First 24: The perfect family daysailer

Compared with the more demanding SE version, the First 24 is focused on ease of use through manageable systems. She has a shorter mast and boom, a smaller jib with a Facnor furling system, an optional table in the cockpit for alfresco dining, and a comfortable interior geared towards overnight cruising. A truly versatile 24-footer, she can easily be launched from a trailer, rigged in a jiffy, and take off for any adventure you are up for.


For 6 people in category B (or 8 people in category C) the Sam-Manuard designed First 27 is a long-range coastal cruiser that is also perfectly suited for day or sunset runs. The deck plan has been redesigned for greater comfort and the cockpit has new benches, lockers, and an optional dining table. A deck hatch has also been added to bring additional light into the salon. A new inboard 10hp Yanmar engine and a new 1.70 m fixed keel have been fitted to make the boat safer, more stable, and easier to use on a day to day basis. A reduced sailplan coupled with aluminium spars will deliver a more forgiving sailing experience, though the flying jib boom and large spinnaker still promise to deliver the thrills everyone have come to expect from BENETEAU First. The First 27 also focuses on comfort, both in terms of living accommodations and ease of use underway. With her wide cockpit benches, a bright salon, two berths, a folding table, and a galley unit available as an option, she is much more than a toned down version of the First 27 SE – she is truly a First cruiser in her own right!


tags: New Boat Models, Sailing

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